Markets are divided by using:
  • WANTS: The benefits consumers expect to receive as a result of using your product and their motivation for buying the product and the purchasing habits.
  • NEEDS: The particular use of the product as perceived by the consumer.
If a company can identify a common want and need, then that products stands a better change of finding acceptance in the targeted market/s.
  • Companies need to develop a favourable image of their company
  • Companies need to continue selling more
  • They need to continually introduce new and exciting products into the market
  • Businesses need to build loyalty amongst their existing clientele
  • They need to be able to make a profit
Production Companies need to deliver quality products continuously. Your company will need to supply the correct quantities, at an acceptable price and time, to the intended market/s. Finance Companies need to secure the funds they require at suitable terms and conditions. They need to effectively control the sources and uses of funds Logistics Businesses need to deliver on time. In some instances they need to deliver on a door to door basis They need to protect their products against loss or damage and ensure that the product arrives in a pristine condition. Sellers need to have an understanding of the risk, costs and responsibilities involved in international trade logistics
Smaller companies do not consider marketing, as some companies start exporting as a result of unplanned orders. This may lead to ignoring the importance of marketing communications. Communicating with your target market is your way of showcasing your product. A strategy that is not effectively and efficiently communicated cannot succeed. This is often a very expensive exercise and most companies find that unless they budget for this very carefully they will not enjoy the market success they hoped for. Firstly set about establishing what you hoped to achieve through your marketing endeavours.
  • How you intend to attract the attention of potential buyers
  • How you will create an interest in what you are offering
  • How to build a demand for your product
Communication can be divided into two main functions i.e: Advertising and promotion Advertising is often mass media advertising, such as placing an advertisement in the targeted country's daily newspaper. Promotion, could be an in-store promotion, such as may be required when you are selling FMCG (Fast Moving Consumable Goods) such as food products, here tasting would be very important. When considering advertising and promotion, one should consider the following: What you want to say (the message) and the media that will carry this message to the potential buyers
Your potential buyers are determined by your segmentation while the positioning of your product will determine your message. You will have already established the segment (whom to talk to), the position (what to say), now you need to decide on the media that will carry this message to potential buyers. Here are some of the ways in which you can communicate with your target market.
  • Using the product itself - sampling
  • Through branding
  • Demonstrating the product
  • The Internet - Web site promotion
  • Distribution of printed material
  • Through mass media
It is of the utmost importance that you clearly define the benefits your product offers and ensure that this message is carried through all your promotional or advertising materials. Careful consideration should be given to:
  • The name of the product
  • Branding
  • Trademarks
  • The benefits of the product
  • Price
  • The strengths of your company
Draw up a list of possible publications, newspapers and or other periodicals that could be a suitable means of promoting your products and establish if free editorials may be placed. At the very least a company should have a brochure that highlights both the company and products that you wish to promote. If a brochure is not available then a website and or electronic photographs of the product placed onto a CD ROM should be the next available option. The most common problems in international trade is that of language barriers. Differences in idiom and the difficulty of exact translation create problems. It is extremely important to correctly translate all literature (including brochures, website and samples etc), into the appropriate foreign language of the target market.
Participation at international trade events is an effective media for not only creating sales but also to obtaining valuable marketing information for your marketing strategy. Obtain the list of international trade events from TISA. They would also be in a position to supply details not only pertaining to the sponsored fairs - (National pavilions), but all international trade fairs which take place globally. Communications that are predominantly targeted at the final consumer are often referred to as the "pull strategy". The consumer is expected to pull the product from the channel. In the case of exporting, especially for an SME, pursuance of a pull strategy is more difficult and expensive. More practical ways of promoting your products include:
  • Sampling of products - giving away products
  • Campaigning in the target market
  • Distribution of samples by mail (if appropriate)
It is most beneficial for South African exporters to visit local trade fairs particularly those trade fairs that host international exhibitors. Here exporters can meet with opposition companies, obtain important marketing information such as price lists and brochures. The SAITEX trade fair is a good example of an international fair which is hosted in South Africa. This fair is an annual event.
The exporter must pay careful attention to the laws of each country in which he wishes to conduct business. The legal systems of different countries can be so complicated that is advisable to employ the services of a legal advisor who can advise you on trademark registration, patent registration and or company name registration.
Exporting is far more costly and difficult than most companies envisage. Marketing is very expensive as most of the costs are incurred in the intended target market. Packaging and transportation costs are also costly. The cost of production could also be higher as in some instances additional staff may have to be employed in order to meet the greater number of orders received. Larger quantities of raw materials would have to be purchased to meet the increased demand and this could serious effect cash flow. Therefore, trained competent staff are essential. There are many South African organisations that offer training in international trade procedures.
The distribution process includes, the physical handling and distribution of the goods, the change of ownership (title), and most importantly the buying and selling between the manufacturers and the middlemen and the middlemen and the customers. The exporter has to choose the correct channel to use in order to access the intended market. In most instances these issues are not very different from those encountered in the local market. In many instances, the use of a middleman is probably the first method many companies will employ for gaining entry into the international marketplace. The exporter relies on the expertise and infrastructure of the middleman to handle the entire export process. The middleman could be:
  • A trading house
  • An agent
  • A distributor
  • A commission agent
  • An agent as a distributor
Incoterms define the risk, cost and responsibility for both the seller and the buyer in any international trade transaction with regards to the transportation of that order.
What are Incoterms?
Incoterms or the International Commercial terms define the precise point at which the seller of the goods in international trade "delivers" the goods to the buyer. It is at this point at which the responsibility for the costs of transportation and consequent charges are relinquished by the seller and must thereafter be borne by the buyer. In addition to the costs, there is a point in the movement of the goods at which the liability for the risks of loss or damage to the goods also passes from the seller to the buyer. The Incoterms clearly define these points. Incoterms range from the least amount of risk for the seller namely EX WORKS - EXW to the most amount of risk for the seller namely DELIVERED DUTY PAID - DDP The Incoterms have been drawn up by the International Chamber of Commerce as early as 1936 and have been updated to include INCOTERMS 2000 Visit the ICC website : For a comprehensive list of all the Incoterms refer to the section on INCOTERMS on the exporthelp website.

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